UNCC has been struggling to hire talented faculty for a few years now (in my area roughly 50% of candidates offered tenure track faculty positions turn them down now as opposed to 10%ish 5-6 years ago). In addition, the University has been struggling to maintain its leadership ranks, recent dean level and above retirements have nearly all been filled with interim folks and searches for permanent replacements have been very slow to get approved. None of these retirements were surprising or unexpected – this was just horrible planning.
Well, this afternoon the new Provost (the Chief Academic Officer, essentially the 2nd in command at the University) resigned abruptly. She only started her position in January of this year (the search lasted longer than she stayed on the job). I can’t say I know anything about her motivations to resign so it may or may not be related to the broader staffing and budgeting issues faced by the University.
I suspect that the bulk of the reason why the University has struggled with staffing recently is very tight budgets (the system is aggressively paring the budget ahead of any enrollment declines). Several of the interim hires are likely explained by the system’s unwillingness to pay market rates for these jobs at the moment. While tight budgets are not unusual for public higher ed, this comes at a time when the University is working hard to move into R1 Status (the most research intensive classification). In order to make this shift, the University will need a bunch of money to reduce teaching loads for existing faculty (so they can be more research active) and hire new, higher-powered faculty as well. In the absence of the money necessary to accomplish these things UNCC will remain a rudderless ship.
If there is one thing a state university has, it’s redundancy. The fact that it took longer to find her than she stayed, supports that. There could be legitimate reasons for the departure, good or bad. I am sure it is a gig that many qualified people would desire, if they were only given an opportunity to at least interview and be given fair consideration. That probably won’t happen because it’s who you know in the end, and their particular boxes you must check.
Not sure if all this is true but, if so, Wondering how this might reflect on our first in command? Is everything cool or are there leadership issues or personality clashes. I have no answers, only questions.
More: There’s no doubt that UNC Charlotte is feeling a ton of pressure right now. The current administration (not wholly wrongly) is desperate to make the university a major player in the state (athletics, research, enrollment, etc.) but the state politicians and BOG continue to push back and treat Charlotte like a 2nd tier institution. For instance, Charlotte staff are paid using a pay scale that’s a tier lower than Chapel Hill and NC State. Additionally, moving the athletics program into that higher tier takes a lot of donor money and that doesn’t seem to be coming in. We haven’t even been able to move forward with the football stadium expansion that is supposed to happen.
I honestly don’t know how much that had to do with this resignation. Anyone think it could be working for a difficult boss???
Maybe the Chancellor should call for us to March with her in protest. I am sick oh hearing about the state screwing our University as they are. With all these imports here, they better demand more while there is rising state revenue
I haven’t done a deep dive on this. But I would not bet that this BOG is a supporter of any of our state universities in totality. Sounds like there is an agenda at play that likely will impact them all. Including Chapel Hill and State.